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CAVAILLON : MELON PERFECTION (75 photos) Send this reportage Send this reportage
Under a lavender sky, soak up the sun and the sounds of cicadas, intoxicated by the surrounding perfumes, abandon yourself to Provence, where all is to be devoured. “Melon, you of the squash family, are you fruit or veg?” “I am both”.
© A. Muriot./
Categories: Kitchen & traditions, Sciences & nature, Wines & Gastronomy, Tourism, Summer
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A blusterer, haughty in his ribbed costume which so perfectly envelopes his paunch. A bit of a show-off, he knows he’s suave, with his pinkish tint, the saffron flesh melts in the mouth in addition to being admirably fragrant.
Who is this fruit who believes himself to be the champion of the summer? In the course of the season, hands lavish him with caresses and even go so far as to squeeze him. And always the same ambition, to distinguish himself as the best in the crate. Icing on the cake or rather melon on the cake, the epicentre of good taste, a Provencal town between the Durance, the Lubéron and the Alpillles has made itself the undisputed capital of Melon de Cavaillon en Vaucluse.
Our Cucumis melo begins somewhere in Armenia, a lover of arid climates, he grows a thick skin which permits him to gorge himself with water. Adventurous, he immigrates to Italy where he is adopted by the Popes and is duly christened Cantaloupe. Today’s hybrid has lost nothing of his Latin forbears, “carpé diem” he declares, “seize the day”, or even the hour! Timing is everything with melon, it must be picked at perfect maturity and ripeness. As round and chubby as a cherub which inevitably leads to the most fanciful and Byzantine of quarrels. Because, nothing makes the melon happier than conversations about its supposed gender. Rumour has it that the circle on top, delicately reminiscent of a female breast would designate it as belonging to the gentler sex. Alas ! it is nothing more than the broken off stem.
Is melon the milk cow of the vegetable garden? Assuredly, if one observes its multiple facets, served with savouries to distract our taste buds, melon is a fount of possibilities. Furthermore, to conclude a feast devoted to him, serve melon liquors and syrups, candied melon or melon jam, berlingots de melon and don’t forget, the emblematic calisson who without its melon heart, never would have lasted. And there you are, following in the footsteps of our gourmet Pope!